His team-mate James McManus suffered the very same injury, and Knights five-eighth Jarrod Mullen can be counting his lucky stars that he didn’t suffer the same injury.

Mullen could have very well found himself on the side-line at the start of the 2011 season, but early detection, and a week off have ensured that Mullen’s foot healed itself without suffering major damage.

The soreness for Mullen came over a three-week period during the Knights tough pre-season conditioning program, but he continued training until scans revealed a small case of the same injury McManus had, called a Jones fracture.

McManus, who suffered the injury in the 2010 pre-season, made it worse when he had his comeback game against Manly in March, resulting in a further three months of rehabilitation.

Neil Halpin, the Knights surgical consultant, has put Mullen only on light duties as the Knights look to ensure that Mullen is fit and raring to go for the 2011 season.

‘‘I just had a week off running but it’s all good now. It was showing signs of maybe being a Jones fracture, like Jimmy McManus had, and that kept him out for six months, so we didn’t want to have the same thing happen to me,’’ Mullen said.

‘‘I was off it last week and started running [on Thursday] and it’s feeling good, so I’m pretty confident I’m over it.

‘‘It had been ongoing for about three weeks or so, and I sort of just brushed it off and thought it was my new orthotics or something like that.

‘‘But I went to see Halpo, and he saw all the signs Jimmy had, so better to be safe than sorry.’’

‘‘The medical staff picked it up fairly early and we got him in for a bone scan last week and there was no sign of a fracture or anything like that,’’ Knights coach Rick Stone said yesterday.

‘‘We backed him off this week, and he’s likely to do a little bit of light stuff over the next couple of days, but hopefully there will be no signs of that when we come back in the new year. He trained yesterday and pulled up with no problem so we’re confident we got on top of that.’’

By ricky

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